Happy 450th Birthday to the Bard of Avon! April 22, 2014Posted by ucisca in Collections.
Tags: First Folio, Shakespeare
William Shakespeare is generally thought to have been born on April 23, 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon, making Wednesday, April 23, 2014 his 450th birthday! He died on the same day in 1616, so 2016 will be the quatercentenary of his death, the 400th anniversary. Shakespeare’s “First Folio,” one of the rarest items in the UCI Libraries, is housed in Special Collections and Archives on the fifth floor of Langson Library. The first collected edition of the plays of William Shakespeare, commonly known as “The First Folio,” has long ranked among the most treasured publications in the English language. A fine copy of the first edition was donated to the Libraries in 1986 by Dr. Patrick Hanratty (below), a graduate of the UCI doctoral program in Information and Computer Science. Printed in London in 1623, seven years after Shakespeare’s death, the First Folio contains texts of thirty-six of the plays. Half of the plays here had never been printed before and half of the remaining plays appear here in authoritative versions. Only about 240 copies of the First Folio survive today, most held in libraries and other cultural institutions. Our collection include the first reprint of 1807, as well as other important reprints and early glossaries. Happy Birthday William!